The spread wings help expose and spread fungal spores and likely attract healthy living beetles, according to the study was published in the September issue of the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.
"I compare this to human zombies — dead bodies that can move," said study lead investigator Donald Steinkraus, a professor of entomology at the University of Arkansas. "It would be like a dead human suddenly standing up and opening its arms." [Read the Full Story about the Zombie Beetles]
Goldenrod soldier beetle
The beetles' larvae eat pests, such as other insects and possibly even ticks, Steinkraus said.
Dead and spread
Spores up close
"These beetles are not attached by their mandibles, but die on the ground, where the resting spores are scattered about on the soil, overwinter, and infect new soldier beetles the following summer," Steinkraus said.
Magnified resting spores
[Read the Full Story about the Zombie Beetles]